As a homeowner, you may pay attention to your plumbing a lot more throughout the winter. While your initial instinct may be to protect water pipes from freezing and bursting, you should also pay attention to your home's water heater. Here are some ways to care for this appliance during the cold winter.
Keep The Water Heater As Warm As Possible
It's common for a water heater to be in a place that is not exactly warm. It could be in a basement that is not heated, a garage, or even an interior closet that doesn't receive much heat from your HVAC system. It's important to keep your water heater as warm as possible by taking steps to fight off the cold weather.
If your water heater is in an unheated part of your home, consider getting a water heater insulation blanket. This covers the entire tank and helps prevent the cold air from cooling down the tank, which makes your water heater work harder than usual to keep the water warm. You can also seal off any drafts that can cause cold air to come in, such as caulking around windows.
For a water heater in an interior closet, consider opening up the door to allow the hot air from your HVAC system to flow inside the space.
Let Faucets Drip During Extreme Cold
You do not want any hot water in the pipes leaving the hot water tank to freeze, which can happen during polar vortex temperatures that reach many degrees below zero. Even though the water is hot, it can cool down from not using the hot water during the day or overnight. The best way to prevent these pipes from freezing is to slowly let the hot water faucet drip. It will cause the water to constantly be moving, which should prevent the pipe from freezing. It also keeps the hot water pipe warm, which can help warm up that cold water pipe right next to it.
Drain The Sediment From The Tank
Anything you can do to cause the heating element to not work as hard will be great for the tank during the winter. You'll want to drain water from the tank prior to winter to get rid of any sediment that is sitting at the bottom of the tank. Sediment makes the water harder to heat, which put unnecessary stress on that heating element.
For more information, contact a company like R & B Inc Heating & Air Conditioning.